2024 Public Speaking Competition
Held at Universidad de Los Andes, 5 April, 2024

Cristóbal Clavijo from Colegio Internacional SEK Pacífico, rode the wave of Public Speaking from the beach in Con Con to the foot of the Andes in Santiago and is our 2024 Winner. Here he is accompanied with his fellow semifinalists: Carolina Castilla (Colegio Cumbres); Mikaela Bennett (Instituto Hebreo Dr. Chaim Weizmann); Camila Crovari (Colegio San Benito); Amapola Marcenaro (Orchard College); Cristóbal; Taehwan Jang (Colegio Pedro de Valdivia, Las Condes); Isabela Muñoz (Lincoln International Academy); Nolan Morgali (Windsor School); Paula Valdés (Villa María Academy); Mikaela Richings (The International School La Serena). Cristóbal will go on to represent ESU at the International Public Speaking Competition in London, 13-17 May 2024. Good luck to him!



It is very difficult to convey to anybody that hasn’t attended one of our events the air of competitive camaraderie between participants. Yes, there are heated arguments in our debates, side glances at our judges and more than one heart crushed at our prize giving ceremonies when their name or team comes up and it’s not under Number 1… but every step of the way, you can hear whispers of encouragement, teasing laughters, see hugs of celebration and a few tears being wiped away by comforting hands.

Each and every one of our participants come out of the experience transformed as they have shown themselves they have what it takes to get in the bullring and face the beast. Life is not a spectator sport and we are in the business of giving them the chance to prove it, making sure it’s in an environment where respect and fellowship are paramount. As we model, so shall they model others in fashion.

Why Public Speaking?

Communication is key to success in almost every field, English oracy is crucial. It enables us to articulate our thoughts clearly, convey our ideas effectively, and persuade others to our point of view. It is the key to success in interviews, business meetings, and even personal relationships.

English oracy is also essential for academic success. It is not enough to simply write a well-researched paper or essay; one must also be able to present their findings and defend their arguments in front of an audience. Students who are able to speak confidently and persuasively are more likely to succeed in their academic pursuits, as well as in their future careers.

Furthermore, the ability to speak English fluently and confidently opens up a world of opportunities. It allows us to travel to English-speaking countries with ease, connect with people from different cultures, and access a wealth of information and resources online.

But above all, speaking English is an end to itself, it’s a opportunity to experience the beauty of it’s sonority and the depth of life embedded in each and every form it is spoken, to understand in ways only expressable in English. To live as if another, as a friend that will always be there to nurture you.

These are all ideas conveyed by our prestigious Keynote Speakers during the day: Dr. Anil Sadarangani and Prof. Paula Baldwin, both of whom regaled the audience with their thoughts and memories on their professional journey and the key aspect the use of English has had in them.


Dr. Anil Sadarangani

Dr. Anil Sadarangani, Director of Innovation at Universidad de Los Andes, transitioned from laboratory research to management, driven by his desire to bridge science with society. Initially drawn to cetology, he pursued Biology, later focusing on cancer research. After completing degrees at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, he earned an MBA in California, emphasising innovation and entrepreneurship. Anil has worked in Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Chile where he is currently responsible for bridging Universidad de Los Andes technologies and society. In recent years, he has been developing parallel projects, such as teaching and integrating girls into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers, as well as mentoring various startups pro bono.

Professor Paula Baldwin

Professor Paula Baldwin Lind holds a Bachelor’s degree in Literature, specialising in English Linguistics and Literature (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), a Master’s degree in English Literature from 1550-1780 (University of Oxford, England), and a PhD in Shakespeare Studies (The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, England). She is currently the Director of the Theatre Studies Diploma Programme at the Institute of Literature, Full Professor at the Institute of Literature of the Universidad de Los Andes, and the principal researcher of the Fondecyt Regular Project n° 1221612: “Building Bridges: Comparative Study of Domestic Spaces in Selected Comedies by Lope de Vega and William Shakespeare”.

The order of the day was: Introductory speeches by our Events and Academic Manager, Mrs Lynnann Lovejoy and the first Keynote Speech in the hands of Dr. Anil Sadarangani

We also had the joy of welcoming back our 2023 winner, Trinidad Guzmán, who shared with all her experiences at the International Public Speaking Competition in May last year.

Then the participants were divided into 2 Heats in different auditoriums where they would deliver their prepared speeches. After that,a Break and then the Impromptu Speeches.


Rodrigo Achá, Mineduc, Heat 1
Claudia Parra, PUCV, Heat 1
Eduardo Vásquez, ICBC, Heat 1
Tom Connelly, ELTEC Consultants, Heat 2
Alicia González, C San Nicolás Diácono, Heat 2
Peter Lynch, Brit-Cham, Heat 2

Heat 1 Semifinal + Impromptu Speeches

In this video:

Semifinal Heat 1

Amapola Marcenaro, Orchard College

Camila Crovari, Colegio San Benito

Carolina Castilla, Colegio Cumbres

Cristóbal Clavijo, Colegio Internacional SEK Pacífico

Mikaela Bennett, Instituto Hebreo Dr. Chaim Weizmann

+ all semifinalists (H1+H2) doing their impromptus!

Heat 2 Semifinal

In this video:

Semifinal Heat 2

Isabela Muñoz, Lincoln International Academy

Mikaela Richings, The Iternational School La Serena

Nolan Morgali, Windsor School

Paula Valdés, Villa María Academy

Taehwan Jang, Colegio Pedro de Valdivia – Las Condes


Francisca Kelly is the founder at BUKKU Education, Author of educational Storybooks for children. An English Language Teacher with nearly 20 years experience, she also is an Educational Consultant for Public and Private Schools. She is a firm promoter of Positive Education.
Jeremy Gould is MINEDUC's Coordinator for the National Centre of English-Speaking Volunteers, since 2012. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Spanish from Salisbury University, Maryland.
Lyllian Turri is the Country Manager of Cambridge University Press in Chile since 2007, tirelessly contributing to the teaching of English in Chile working with schools, higher education organisations and the Cámara Chileno-Británica de Comercio (BritCham).

After the Impromptu Speeches we all had a break for Lunch, after which Professor Paula Baldwin delivered her Keynote Speech and we announced our four finalists: Cristóbal Clavijo, Mikaela Bennett, Nolan Morgali & Taehwan Jang.

These four participants had to deliver their prepared speech once again and had to be grilled by three distinguished Judges. After this our judges conferred and decided on who would be declared 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honourable Mention. The decision was not easy but after careful consideration they decided thus: 


Cristóbal Clavijo, Colegio Internacional SEK Pacífico


Mikaela Bennett, Instituto Hebreo Dr. Chaim Weizmann


Nolan Morgali, Windsor School


Taehwan Jang, Colegio Pedro de Valdivia – Las Condes


We would like to give a big thanks to Universidad de Los Andes for hosting us this year, in particular to Ms María Rebeca Sánchez, Dept. of Education Coordinator of External Engagement , and her team for the impeccable organisation; the audiovisual team headed by Mr. Alejandro Reid: Mr. Arnaldo Valdés, cameramen Erwin and Sebastián. And of course the amazing student helpers Mr. Raimundo Ossandón (3rd Place in our 2017 Creative Writing Competition!) and Ms. María Jesús Maldonado.

We would like to thank the authorities at Universidad de Los Andes: the Dean of the Faculty of Social Science, Mr. Matías Petersen; the Economic Vice Dean, Ms. Josefina Ortega and Academic Vice Dean, Ms Isabel Pavez; the Head of School of Education, Mr. Ignacio Illanes and the Academic Director of School of Education Ms. Fernanda Montoya.

To our stalwart sponsors Books & Bits, who once again have overdelivered with the books they donated as prizes. 

To our amazing Public Speaking Task Force, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible: Loreto Abascal, Tamara Álvarez, Christine Jeppessen, Flor Toledo.

To all our participants, their families and their schools. Their hard work, talent and determination inspired everybody present and hopefully other students who may see them delivering these speeches.

To all our Judges through the different rounds. Apart from those that were part of the day, we have to thank all judges that gave their time for our Virtual Round 1:

Alejandra Duarte (Universidad de Talca)

Stephanie Hairgrove (Inglés Abre Puertas, MINEDUC)

Steven Hoit (Greenhouse School, Temuco)

Christine Jeppesen (ICBC, ESU)

Emma Johnston (ICBC)

Bernardita Latorre (SIP Schools)

Erica Mery (Universidad Católica del Norte, La Serena)

Viviana Rojas (Universidad Católica, Temuco)

Carolina Ruiz (Baptist School, Temuco)

Rodrigo Santos (Universidad Católica del Maule, Talca)

Lorena Soto (Universidad Mayor, Santiago)

Flor Toledo (Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, ESU)

Anne Westmacott (Universidad de Los Andes)

Cassandra Williams (Independent English Teacher)